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Following on from the defeat of their senior men’s side in the Connacht Junior Cup final last weekend, it’s the turn of Celtic’s women’s team to head into final action this weekend. It’s been an eventful season for this current Celtic side after they made it all the way to the FAI Women’s Senior Cup final in the Aviva Stadium only to lose out in extra-time.
After 110 minutes of hard work, sheer will and effort Castlebar Celtic saw their dreams of a tenth Connacht Junior Cup come cracking apart in the most heartbreaking of ways in a penalty shoot-out. The Hoops will feel hard done by, having made most of the running during a game played in wild and wet conditions in Milebush Stadium. But Ballinasloe were the ones to get their hands on the old trophy thanks to a 4-2 win from the spot kicks. Jason Hunt slammed home the first kick of the shoot-out for Celtic, with Ballinasloe Town captain Peter Keighery responding in kind. Both sides also converted their next kicks, with Ronan O'Boyle doing the necessary for the Castlebar men and Gary Egan for the Roscommon League side. Gerry Hunt tried to replicate his brothers effort with Celtic's third penalty, but his effort was scooped over Aidan Fallon's bar, Mark Duffy saw his effort just about get past Stephen Cafferkey to hand the advantage to Ballinasloe Town. Up next was Celtic full-back Stephen Walsh, who had been excellent all day. But when it came to the crunch his effort clipped the top of the bar and cleared the target, leaving David Cullen with the chance to win the cup. The Ballinasloe Town full back took the route one option and drove it down the middle of the goal and past Cafferkey to ensure his team retained the title they won last year.
Sunday is going to be an emotional day for the Castlebar Celtic women’s senior side when they face off against Peamount United in the final of the Bus Éireann Women’s National League Cup in Milebush Park. Along with dealing with the nerves of the biggest day that a lot of these players will have played in, they will also be keeping the memory of their late coach Jeremy Dee very firmly in their minds. At 2pm on Sunday a tree laying ceremony will be held at Milebush Park in memory of the late Jeremy Dee, who worked at Milebush for a number of years, along with coaching the Celtic side who have reached this Sunday’s final.
Iorras Aontaithe stayed top of the Mayo Super League last weekend after they came from two goals down to beat Snugboro United in Carne last weekend, while champions Ballina Town were surprisingly overturned by Castlebar Celtic in Celtic Park. Iorras have a 100 per cent record from their six games so far and are now four points clear of Ballina and have a game in hand. But they had to do it the hard way last weekend; Sean Curry put the visitors one up earlier on and they doubled their lead shortly after when David Colleran headed home their second.
Castlebar Celtic progressed to the semi-final of the Newstalk Cup on Wednesday night thanks to a 2-0 over Galway United in Celtic Park, setting up a last four showdown with Bohemians in Dalymount Park which is provisionally fixed for Wednesday May 19.
Castlebar Celtic 2
While the League of Ireland’s top two divisions have a couple of weeks under their belts already, Castlebar Celtic won’t be in action in the Newstalk A League until late May, but they have a hectic schedule coming up over the next few weeks in the various cup competitions. On Friday night they kick off the A League Cup with a tie at home to Finn Harps A League side in Celtic Park, and on next Tuesday night they will welcome the Ballybofey outfit’s first team in the first round proper of the EA Sports League Cup.
This Sunday afternoon sees the Mayo League take to the field in the semi final of the Oscar Traynor Cup in the lion’s den of the AUL complex in Clonshaugh, Dublin. Their opposition, the much fancied Athletic Union League, are the favourites to lift the cup this year. Mayo manager Declan Kilkelly was confident going in to the game when he spoke to the Mayo Advertiser earlier this week. “We have a great squad here and if we play to the maximum of our potential, we have a great chance of making the final.” The Mayo side had a warm up game last week with a charity match against Iorras Aontaithe in Carne, which Mayo won 3-2, which Kilkelly believed to be a “great bonding session for the lads and preparation for this weekends challenge.”
Life as a league of Ireland club has had it’s ups and downs for Castlebar Celtic so far this season. Declan Kilkelly’s men have won one of their first two league games away to Drogheda United a much needed win after loosing their first two games of the season. Celtic entered the A League with much fanfare against Derry City a few weeks ago only to go down 2-1 to the Ulster men and they followed that game up with another defeat in the League Cup three days later. The defeat in the league cup was at the hands of this weekends opponents Finn Harps. The Donegal outfit ran out comfortable 4-0 winners after Celtic let them off the hook on two occasions in the first half. That time out Celtic faced the clubs first team while this weekend, it will be the Harps A side that make their way to Celtic Park.